Newest Review: ... flowers of almost twelve inches across which come on thick, powerful stems. Dahlias in the garden: Dahlias vary from about one to tw... more
No blue pompoms here!
Member Name: janharper
Date: 10/06/05, updated on 20/06/05 (201 review reads)
Advantages: easy to grow
Disadvantages: no blue pompoms
The Dahlia was first introduced into Europe from Mexico, around 200 hundred years ago. The first dahlias grown just outside Madrid were single stemmed with open centres.
Then came the multi-ray variety. Spainsh growers soon discovered that when dahlias are grown from seed they change colour and form quite readily. That's why we have such a wide variety available today.
Water lily, peony, chrysanthemum, orchid and anemone are all varieties of dahlia. There are cactus types, pompom dahlias and even those with ball shaped flowers that look like little globes.
These all came from the same stock.
These amazing flowers come in a variety of colours. Infact they currently come in almost every colour, except blue. (Apparently this is being worked on at the current time.) There are mauves and violets but no pure blue. Sizes range from the miniature Topmix variety to giant flowers of almost twelve inches across which come on thick, powerful stems.
Dahlias in the garden:
Dahlias vary from about one to twelve feet in height so it's important to know which variety you have. The tall ones need to be at the back of the border. Leaf colouring varies from very light green to dark green with a tinge of black. Topmix, or Lilliputs, are miniatures that grow well in pots, and flower from late summer to mid autumn.
These need little attention so they are perfect if you are, like me, a lazy gardener.
If you are interested in exhibiting your dahlias there are a few rules to remember (or to aim for). An ideal bloom should be symmetrical in shape and perfectly circular. Double flowered dahlias should grown at no less than 45 degrees to the stem. Stems should be straight and of appropriate thickness for the size of the flower.
This isnít of course, a full list of the technical criteria that show growers aspire to but it does give you an idea of what itís all about.
All varieties of dahlia make lovely colourful additions to the garden and the longer stemmed varieties are good for cutting and placing in a vase. They tend to last quite a long time in the house, although I am always reluctant to cut them after they have struggled so hard to produce those gloriously coloured flowers.
Even if you are not an avid gardener, you will find dahlias easy to grow and quite forgiving when it comes to neglect. (I don't mean serious neglect!)
Most of all, you will get a lot out of these plants for a minimum of effort and you don't need to be an expert. They actually make perfect flowers for the kids to grow in pots.